“Many of us feel that our experience of being bicultural, tricultural, or simply growing up between continents and cultures has given us a kind of double-vision. I think of this as being a kind of third eye in which to see others, and in particular to see ‘otherness.'”
“How are you?” in Warsaw does not result in an obligatory “Very well, thanks. And you?”
* Gina Balibrera *
Certain words are brighter and less symmetrical than others, and these are the ones she wants. The twitching red octopuses scare and delight her. They might deliver punishment, a royal beating, or at least scorn. They’re from another world; they don’t belong to her.
* Paula Mendoza *
And there’s the rub. Those conventions and rules I insist be problematized (or broken), and the abstract authority that is ‘traditional’ poetry I wish questioned (or overthrown), require my own narrow and unquestioning faith in, and obedient submission to, the artist.
* A.L. Major *
Despite knowing how horrible my bad habits are I have the most difficulty breaking them. Why don’t I unplug my Internet and concentrate? Why don’t I just stop watching Scandal? I DON’T KNOW. In writing this blog post, I asked my friends—writers and non-writers alike—about their bad habits, and, not surprisingly, many of them face the same problems as I do. No matter what the bad habit—leavings tasks until the last possible minute, smoking when nervous, over-checking Facebook—each person I spoke to was aware of the bad habit, felt miserably guilty about it, but seemed hopelessly unable to stop. “Phew. I’m not the only one,” I said to myself. I’m not the only suffering from this throat-clogging guilt—guilt for not being better, for not being more dedicated, for not writing this blog post earlier, etc. Every day I feel weighed down by this guilt, and I don’t know what to do with it. In writing this post, I tried to identify what it is about my bad habits I find so flummoxing. How can I be so self-aware yet so unable to stop? Am I self-destructive? Self-combusting? If I hate feeling guilty why don’t I just stop doing the things that make me feel guilty? These are the kind of questions I ask myself at 4 am after wasting the entire day watching Project Runway episodes back-to-back. I don’t feel particularly self-destructive, but what do I know?